Thursday, September 13, 2012

Seed and Plant Sources

One of the questions often asked of me is, "where do you get your plants and seeds?" My answer is always many places! Hopefully this article will share a little of my years of experience and favorite vendors with you.


I shop locally whenever I can - and I'm not talking about your "Big-Box" stores like Lowes and Walmart. I urge everyone to visit your locally owned and operated nurseries. They are people who know and love plants and will be willing to work with you. They will help you make the best choices plus your dollars will be going back into your community.

Ok, yes. The Big-Box places have great prices on flats of summer annuals like petunias and marigolds. Get those there if you that is your thing, but shop at your locally-owned nurseries for everything else.

Vegetables & Food Crops

I have a lot of favorites here. Not every place carries all the varieties I want so I end up placing seed orders to a dozen or more vendors each year. Many of these vendors also carry herb and flower seeds as well. Some seed vendors also carry vegetable transplants if seed-starting isn't an art you've mastered.

Abundant Life Seeds - Organic and biodynamic vegetable seeds
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds - One of my favorite heirloom seed sources.
Comstock Seeds - A 200 year old tradition of selling seeds
Johnny's Selected Seeds - A wide range of vegetable and herb seed. No genetically modified seed.
Miller Nurseries - A local company that specializes in fruit tree, shrubs, and plants. Get a variety of plants and varieties. Great edible landscaping source.
Pinetree Garden Seeds - A favorite place to get not only a wide range of vegetable varieties but a place to get small amounts of seed for a small price which is a wonderful way to test out a variety
Raintree Nursery - All manner of fruit-bearing plants and trees are available here. Great edible landscaping source.
Seed Savers - Heirloom vegetable seeds.
Seeds of Change - Organic vegetable, flower, and herb seed.
Territorial Seed Company - A wide range of heirloom, open pollinated, and hybrid vegetable varieties. No genetically modified or treated seed.
Totally Tomato - Can't find a particular tomato or pepper variety elsewhere? Find it here.
Terroir Seeds - Heirloom and open-pollinated seeds.
Kitazawa Seed Company - Specialty Asian vegetable seed source.

Medicinal & Native Plants

Other than the food plants I've planted in the vegetable garden and the edible landscaping I've done, this is where I spend the most gardening energy. Given the number of medicinal native plants, I rolled both this two categories together, but the sources are easy to pick which is which.

Horizon Herbs - Medicinal plants and seeds of many herbal traditions
Nichols Garden Nusery - A nice selection of culinary herb and vegetable seed
Richters - A wonderful source for medicinal plants and seeds of all sorts from nearby Toronto
Forest Farm - While shipping from the westcoast is costly, this is a wonderful place to find many hard to find plants, trees, and shrubs.
Musser Forests - A nice place to get many native trees and shrubs in small amounts or in quantity. Located in nearby Pennsylvania.
Prairie Moon Nursery - One of the best native plant and seed sources around.
Amanda's Garden  - A local nursery specializing in native perennial plants
White Oak Nursery - A local nursery specializing in native trees and shrubs
Ion Exchange - A great source for native plant seedlings


I don't do much ornamental gardening these days but I do always slip some flowers into the vegetable beds to attract pollinators.

Select Seeds - Get antique flower seeds from this company including some of my favorite poppy varieties